Photo: © Joe Buergi

Docu Interview: Joe Buergi

What’s your favorite drink?

I prefer a Swiss beverage called Rivella.

Who are you?

I’m Joe Buergi, a 55 year old Swiss guy, living near the capital, in a small city called Belp.

Where did you grow up and what was it like?

I grew up in a rural area of Switzerland, in the inner part of my country.

How did you become a photographer?

I photograph as long as I got my first camera with 20 years.

Why did you choose photography over other mediums?

Photography is for me an expression of myself, Black & White is a reduction to the soul of each photograph.

Do you sell prints?

I rarely do if someone asks.

What is the most interesting project you have been working with?

The most intense project was about the Mundari tribe in South Sudan. Because it was remote, raw and not many people had been there.

What do you usually do when you start a new project?

I investigate a lot.

What advice would you give to young emerging photographers?

Follow your instinct.

What has been the most touching moment in your career as a photographer?

Many young asians drew some of my portraits in 2020. So I started a drawing contest and managed some prices. Over 200 young people participated. I got a huge response.

What are the greatest benefits of being a photographer?

Freedom, travelling and meeting different cultures.

What are you working on right now?

Some concert photography when the pandemic ends.

Visual storytelling is very powerful, what do you think makes a good story in Documentary Photography?

A good story left some imagination to the viewer.

Many young photographers are asking the question: is it possible to earn an income as a Documentary Photographer - What do you think?

I think it’s hard nowadays. But if you find a niche, you can sure earn some money.

What do you think about Docu Magazine?

It’s a great magazine and a source of inspiration for many photographers.

What is your biggest challenge as a photographer right now? (Other than COVID-19)

Finding new inspiration.

What would you like to accomplish as a photographer?

Not much, just to have some publications.

Top 3 books you recommend people to read?

The Americans – Robert Frank

Any books from Sebastiao Salgado

Any books from David Yarrow

Anything else you would like to add?

Keep going!

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